Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Importance of Breathing

Now I come to a post I have been trying to create for some time, but my photographic and artistic attentions were not quite up to the task, so I will try and make do with what is before me.

I have previously mentioned the effect drawing has on me and perhaps other artists as well – the seismographic hand memory induced by the excitement of drawing. When I look at people on the street the hand memory goes off and its as if I were painting or drawing them very fast and my eye looks for the essence of the situation. Its a wonderful feeling, so rich in emotion that I hate to parse through it, but it may benefit those few who may read this blog.

As my fellow commuters rush past me I can feel the air they have stirred up, or let us say, the psychological air. They leave behind a contrail of emotions that I try to sample, and add to the picture I am creating in my head. I have but a second to glance at the person and my eye inevitably goes to their mouth. I want to see how they are taking in air; taking in the present moment. Many do not seem to be breathing at all, or holding it all in. Involuntarily, I start to feel the breath catching in my own lungs and its as if I were breathing for them. Few are actually looking at something in front of them but at something in the past – or yet to come. They make gestures which are connected to scenario I cannot see, walking through spaces that are mapped in their memories. I try to hold on to these feelings and sensations as long as possible, but it all happens so fast. The longing to sense these moments and hold on to them is what gives energy to the act of painting and drawing. Hundreds of these moments will be lost in a day, and unfortunately, I am not a camera, I cannot download all this wonder, but I like to think a hint of it rubs off in my work.

If you carry the vibrations from the act of creating into the world outside the studio, amazing things can happen, paintings go off in your head, the smallest human movements can become something of great beauty. The casual gesture can lead to an arc of human understanding. Let your eyes be open to those things that will pass you by in an instant and may they take your breath away.